Gabon's long-serving president dies

Omar Bongo, Gabon's longest serving president, has died of a heart attack on June 8 in a Spanish hospital at the age of 73. He had been president of the African nation since 1967. He is said to have stopped work in May, checking into a clinic in Barcelona, with reports claiming that he had cancer.

EBRD, EIB and World Bank join forces to support Eastern Europe

On February 27, the largest multilateral investors and lenders in Eastern Europe – the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank and the World Bank – have pledged to provide up to €24.5bn to support the banking sectors in the region and to fund lending to businesses hit by the global economic crisis.

Roubini: 'It is time to nationalise the banks'

The pessimistic predictions of Nouriel Roubini, professor at NYU Stern Business School and founder of RGE Monitor, have been proved uncannily accurate. Here, he says that the US and UK banking sectors are mainly insolvent, and that rather than propping up ‘zombie banks’, it may soon be time to nationalise most of the sector.

Expats in Dubai heading home

An estimated 3,000 cars have been dumped at Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports by expat workers leaving the country after losing their jobs. Many still have keys in the ignition. It is a sign of the times in credit crunch Dubai.

EU raises concerns about Austria bank bail-out

The EU commission on competition has raised concerns about the Austrian government’s €2.7bn bail-out of Erste Bank at the end of October. Erste Bank is one of the largest banks in Austria and in central and eastern Europe.

Latvia not going the way of Iceland, says central bank governor

The governor of the Bank of Latvia, Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, says he is confident that Latvia is not going the way of Iceland. “The short-term debt of Iceland is twice as high as the total gross external debt of Latvia. Moreover, half of the banks’ short-term debt is in fact long-term”, he told an investor conference in London on November 4.